Airbus Helicopters' has completed the first flight of its H145M military chopper equipped with HForce weapon system of which Serbia is the launch customer.
The helicopter can be equipped with various guided and ballistic armaments such as missiles and laser guided rockets, machine guns and rockets.
The first flight is performed in Donauwörth, Germany at the end of August. The qualification of HForce for use on the H145M is planned for 2018.
“The next steps prior to qualification include a firing campaign, testing the whole fire mission spectrum through guns, cannons and rockets in Hungary as well as tests on the laser-guided rockets in Sweden before the end of the year,” said Jean-Luc André, HForce Program Manager at Airbus Helicopters in a statement Friday.
“As the launch customer for the H145M with the HForce weapon system, the Republic of Serbia has ordered nine H145M aircraft, including four attack helicopters equipped with HForce”, he added.
HForce is a comprehensive, modular and cost-efficient weapon system that can be used on any military version of Airbus’ civil helicopter range (H125M, H145M and H225M).
The flexible weapon management system enables armies around the world to complement their fleets with specialised versions of light attack helicopters.
The H145M is the military version of the tried-and-tested, twin-engine H145 civil helicopter that was first delivered in 2014.
The entire H145 fleet has now clocked up more than 60,000 flight hours. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.7 tonnes, the agile light attack H145M can be used for a wide range of tasks, including armed reconnaissance, ground fire support, escort, tactical transport, MEDEVAC and CASEVAC.
Customers for the H145M include the German Armed Forces that received in June their 15th H145M LUH SOF helicopter on time and on budget – as well as the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Thailand.